Nature conservation

Native animals


Every year, humpback whales and southern right whales can be seen migrating along the NSW coastline. They head north throughout June and in the first week of July, travelling up to their breeding grounds in warmer waters. Then, from around September to November, they return southwards.

Around 2000 whales make this journey within sight of the coast each year. At the peak of the migration, you can stand on a coastal headland and see up to four whales pass by every hour.

  • Humpback whale
    With their fluke-up dives, fin-slapping rolls and spectacular breaches, humpbacks can put on an awesome show. They are fairly common along the NSW coast, but were almost hunted to extinction.
  • Southern right whale
    You can spot a southern right whale by its 'V' shaped plume of spray. These whales are often seen in shallow water, including estuaries and bays.
  • Whale watching in NSW
    Find out which national parks offer the best whale watching spots, and see what you should do out on the water to give whales the personal space they need.
  • Wild about whales

Some of the best whale watching spots can be found in our national parks all along the NSW coast, stretching from Byron Bay in the north to Eden in the south.

As well as whale watching, there are plenty of other activities to experience in our coastal national parks, from bushwalking and photography, to Discovery tours and spotting a wealth of other marine and land based wildlife.

Start to plan your coastal adventure at Wild About Whales. It's the best way for you to learn about whales migrating along our coastline, and to find the best spots in our national parks to see whales and enjoy other great coastal adventures.

Whale Season 2014 - Half Time Report

A NPWS officer discusses 2014's whale season.

More information

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Page last updated: 20 September 2017